ASTROLOGY, the belief that the cosmos has an effect on the actions and interactions
of everyday events here on earth, has been a constant companion to mankind since the
birth of civilisation, and probably from a time long before that. Maybe it’s fact,
maybe it’s fiction – I’m just content not to be the man trying to prove or disprove the
theory beyond any doubt.
As a species we appear to instinctively point a finger of blame or offer grateful
thanks to the heavens above for our personal success or failure. In 2009, is it still
necessary to envisage an ethereal management department where the buck stops once
and for all? Surely by now we’ve learned that the cosmic intelligence behind the
executive desk never offers a definitive solution to our problems – apart from
informing us that we were born with the freedom of choice.
The importance of astrology throughout civilised history is well documented, from
Sumerians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans to the dollar-gathering 21
electro-media. Even now, for millions around the world, the search for cosmic
answers to tomorrow’s problems generates a constant and continuous fascination with
the principle that the disposition of any individual may be predetermined or merely
swayed by the position of the stars and can therefore be called upon to assist every
one of us through the human quagmire of our most powerful emotions, love and hate.
On a personal level, the youthful respect that I held for the “modern” twelve-sign
zodiac was heavily dented when I discovered that my birthday, November 23
, 1951,
was only Sagittarian on paper, and that the actual position of the sun on that fortuitous
day was straddling the border between Scorpio and Libra. Furthermore, my
“Capricorn” wife was born while the sun was deep in Sagittarius, and that my
“Sagittarian” son was born while the sun rose in Ophiuchus, the 13
sign of the
zodiac, a subject that seems to be purposely avoided by astrologers.
Time has moved on – the precession of the earth has rendered most of the original
celestial time slots obsolete, but it would require a step of immense financial bravery
for a recognised astrologer to step out of the ranks and attempt to influence a change
in the status quo, redressing the disparity.
From its original inception, without continual updates throughout the millennia, the
zodiac was doomed to founder on the rocks of time, and maybe the lack of corrective
action is one of the reasons behind its demotion to the level of a newspaper cartoon.
Time-honoured characteristics attributed to particular signs are no longer applicable
or even recognisable in the targeted individuals – even if they did exist.
My opinion of the ancients who initially decided to geometrically “mechanise” the
layout of the prehistoric Malvern Zodiac into a regimented calendar of twelve houses
each of 30 degrees is equalled only by that of Napoleon’s depressing foray into
decimalisation – it shows a disregard of history and nature and a pretentious level of
self-importance that we can all do without.


At present, in the northern hemisphere, Polaris is the north star, but during the early
Egyptian dynasties (4000-2500 BC) it was Thuban. In 12,000 BC the nearest bright
star to true north was Vega – and in the future, approximately 14,000 AD, it will be
Vega again. The Great Year is the time it takes for one complete cycle of the
precession of the equinoxes, the cosmic clock, approximately 26,000 years.
Will we ever understand the reason for the contents of the original Malvern design?
Why should one area of the sky be designated to hold the image of a ship, while
another holds a dragon? Why should the months of the watermaiden be three times
greater than that of the whale? Was it purely down to visual recognition, a selection of
random images plucked from the imagination to assist long-distance travel - or was
there another, deeper purpose behind the graphical layout?
It’s well known that according to the Great Year and the “new” zodiac we are
entering the age of Aquarius, supposedly an age of love and peace, but by the ancient
design of the Malvern Zodiac we are leaving the Whale and Fishes and entering the
portion controlled by the Dragon - we can only speculate on the effect this will have
on humankind. The dragon image is the epitome of
awesome power – wings, teeth, gaping jaw, flame
and fireballs – it is not a sign of peace!
From the Malvern Zodiac’s Great Year layout
it’s possible to trace back over the last 20,000
years to ages past.
The Piscean age falls over the Whale and Fishes,
a watery sign commandeered by the Christians of
the last 2000 years and still proudly exhibited by
many of its followers today. It should come as no
surprise that the mitre worn by the leader of the
religion is based upon the head of a fish.
Previous to the Piscean age the heavens travelled
through approximately 2500 years of the Goat, and
explains why this animal has been the long-
suffering graphic representative of devils, demons,
fallen angels and all things dark and evil.
The passing age of the goat had to be summarily rejected and therefore the illiterate
population were “thought-directed” in a more pictorial and religious manner. We can
only wonder whether the Piscean age of today will be subject to the same level of
defamation and vilification at a date yet to come – and if so, by whom.
From 5000 BC to 2500 BC, before the age of the goat, the star-gazing communities
of the world came under the influence of the Ship. Was this a great age of maritime
travel, exploration and expansion? Once again speculation is almost futile, our
understanding is only governed by an academic guess from the evidence available –
of which there is very little.
However, one aspect of prehistory cannot be denied, the people who ran their lives
according to the Malvern Zodiac were far closer to nature than we could ever be.
Their existence and survival depended upon their ability to understand and react to the
underlying rhythms hidden amongst the unpredictable chaos of the natural world.
It is only recently, with the ever-increasing threat of global catastrophe, that we
have started to seriously investigate their level of ancient wisdom in subjects such as
animal husbandry, medicine and alternative earth-friendly lifestyles, with the hope
that it will help us delay or survive the impending cataclysm.
The age of the Malvern Zodiac is difficult to determine, but it is located on land that
has been ice-free since 16,000 BC and there are slight indications that other similar
sites existed across the whole of the British Isles, such as Mount Temple in the
Republic of Ireland and Galashiels in Scotland, but with my limited time and
resources, further investigations have, through necessity, been put on hold.
A confusing aspect of the layout is its graphical content. The centaur may well be an
ancient interpretation of a man on horseback and the dragon a misrepresentation of
various bones or fossils, but to clearly include animals that have never ventured this
far north, the lion and the scorpion, suggests that the design either originated in
warmer latitudes or that the original tribes of the Celtic shelf, early Britain, were great
travellers. I tend to favour the latter explanation due to the inclusion of the deep-
keeled ship.
Nevertheless, the Malvern Zodiac is what it is, a beautifully simplistic design
formed from the brightest stars within the ecliptic circle of the northern hemisphere.
Of course, archaeologists and historians will disagree. According to academia
terrestrial zodiacs do not exist and are merely figments of an over-imaginative mind, a
dot-to-dot or ink-blot theory forming recognisable images from a totally random
distribution of lines and strokes – I can live with that, this is a work in progress, and I
guarantee that one day they will eventually change their minds.
As a slight diversion from my normal line of research, which is identifying the
allegoric basis of archaic literature linked to the Malvern Zodiac, I have taken time
out to redefine the astrological zodiac, complete with my own intuitive interpretations
of birthday characteristics based upon the underlying nature, personality and
temperament of the individual constellations. The results may surprise you, or maybe
not … can you recognise the traits? Is this where you discover your true self?
Alan Gripton

Unlike the standard 12-character zodiac, many of the constellations overlap and
partially occupy the same area of the sky. A judgment has to be made where to place
the radial that separates the individual areas of influence. With this in mind the panel
below is a suggestion of the approximate dates of change.


All contents and original artwork remains the copyright of Alan Gripton, 2009

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